Atari, you’ve got some ‘splainin’ to do. Or you will, anyway, if Dungeons & Dragons Online developer Turbine’s argument holds any water. The developer alleges that it came home from work one evening, only to find Atari in the arms of another D&D MMO. It seems, then, that trouble’s been brewing for a little while, as you’ll remember that we reported on the rumor of a Neverwinter Nights MMO a few months ago.
Citing what’s presumably that unconfirmed NWN MMO, Turbine has thrown the legal equivalent of a magic missile at Atari, accusing the publisher of fraud, breach of contract, and unjust enrichment. The gist of it goes like this: Atari allegedly planned to “terminate” its agreement with Turbine under false pretenses. Turbine suspected that Atari would “either terminate Turbine as part of a shakedown, or proceed with termination in bad faith to benefit from its own competing product at Turbine's expense.” That “competing product” is, in all likelihood, the NWN MMO.
On top of that, Turbine claims that Atari “failed to devote necessary resources” to Dungeons & Dragons Online, and “breached the agreements by accepting payments - including future royalty payments - in return for extending their relationship and paving the way for the launch of Turbine's free-to-play ‘DDO: Unlimited’ service, though Atari knew it would not perform its obligations under the agreements and knew it would pretextually seek to declare Turbine in breach of the agreements.”
Long story short: things are about to get ugly. How ugly? Well, why don’t you ask 3D Realms and Take-Two? We hear that “breach of contract” stuff flies really well in their parts.